To lose weight you need more than the desire to do so.
It is necessary to commit and have a well thought out plan. This is a step-by-step guide to what you can do to get started.
Step 1: Commit yourself
Making the decision to lose weight, change your lifestyle and become healthier is a big step. Start by simply making a commitment to yourself. Many people are made easier to put their commitment into a written contract. This contract may include things like the amount of weight you want to lose, the date you are looking to lose it, the changes in diet you will make to adopt healthy eating habits, and a plan for regular physical activity.
It is also helpful to put the reasons why you want to lose weight. It may be that your family has a history of heart disease or because you want to see your children marry, or simply because you want to look better in your clothes. Put these motives in the eye as a daily reminder of your motives for change.
Step 2: Locate your reality
Check with your health care provider for weight, height, and weight-related risk factors. Ask for a follow-up appointment to monitor changes in your weight or health-related situations.
Keep a “food journal” for a few days, where you write down everything you eat. This journal allows you to be more aware of what you eat and when you do. Being aware of this you can avoid eating without thinking.
Then, analyze your current lifestyle. Identify obstacles that can hinder your weight loss efforts. For example, does your work schedule or travel prevent you from practicing enough physical activity? Do you tend to consume foods rich in sugars because that’s what you buy for your children? Do your co-workers often bring in sharing high-calorie foods like donuts? Think about what you can do to overcome these challenges.
Finally, think about aspects of your lifestyle that can help you lose weight. For example, is there an area near your work where you and your classmates can take a walk after lunch? Is there a place in your community, such as the YMCA, with sports facilities for you and day care services for your children?
Step 3: Set realistic goals
Set some short-term goals and reward your efforts throughout the process. If your long-term goal is to lose 40 pounds and control your high blood pressure, you can set short-term eating and physical activity goals such as starting breakfast, walking 15 minutes at night or eating salad or vegetables for dinner.
Concentrate on two or three goals at a time. The most effective goals are: Concrete realistic comprehensive (we are not perfect).
For example “getting more exercise” is not a concrete goal. But if he says “I’m going to walk 15 minutes, 3 days a week in the first week,” he’s setting a concrete and realistic goal for the first week.
Remember, small changes every day lead to great results in the long run. Also remember that realistic goals are attainable goals. By achieving day-to-day short-term goals, you feel good about your progress and are motivated to continue. Setting unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks, bring feelings of defeat and frustration.
Being realistic also means knowing that there may be setbacks. Setbacks occur when you leave the plan for any reason, such as when there are holidays, work longer hours, or go through another change in your life. When you experience a setback, try to resume your plan as soon as possible. Also take some time to think about what you would do differently if you faced a similar situation, to avoid setbacks.
Keep in mind that all people are different: what works for some, not others. Although your neighbor has lost weight with just running, it does not mean that running is the best option for you. Try to do various physical activities that you enjoy most and that are compatible with your life, such as walking, swimming, playing tennis or taking group exercise classes. You will find it easier to continue these long-term activities.
Step 4: Identify information and support resources
Picture of an elderly couple walking Seek the support of family and friends in your efforts to lose weight. You will find it easier to make lifestyle changes if you have people you can talk to and can support. Maybe you have co-workers or neighbors with similar goals and together you can share recipes and make a group exercise plan. You may also want to join a weight-loss support group or consult with a health professional, such as a certified dietitian.
Step 5: Keep track of your progress
Review the goals you set (in Step 3) and evaluate your progress on a regular basis. If you set the goal of walking every morning but find it difficult to do before going to work, consider changing your work schedule or try to walk at lunch or after work. Evaluate which parts of your plan work well and which need adjustments. Then re-write your goals and plan according to this assessment.
If you are achieving your goals consistently, continue to add goals to stay on the path to success.
Earn your achievements! Give value to your achievements and be proud of your progress. Use non-food prizes as incentives, such as giving yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers, hanging out with friends to go sport or take a soothing bath in the tub. Incentives keep motivation on your path to good health.